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MatPlus.Net Forum General Problems for the Masses?

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(21) Posted by Zalmen Kornin [Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 15:48]

Here we have also many polemic public exhibits - the "Suffering Horse" (or more popularly "The Dribbling (or 'Sliming' Horse ?!), for instance, was considered terribly awlfull when placed between the Rosario Church (1700s) and the Wolf Mansion (1870s) http://hipismo.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/cavalo-babao-de-curitiba/

ps: not exactly on topic - but, yes, maybe on topic: can I say it properly in English: that something is "lost with", or better would be "lost in" etc ?! - for this topic "Chess Problems Lost With The Titanic" http://chessproblem.net/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=548&p=1308#p1308

Just found an example for kitsch:

http://www.softdecc.com/pdb/search.pdb?expression=probid=%27P1236839%27

It is easy to compose: Take an ideal mate and add some pieces backwards.
Maybe players in Siegfried's chess club like this problem.

Oh, but "Kitsch" and "art for the masses" are not
necessarily the same. The equation is suggestive,
but if I may translate a quote from German Wiki,
"Kitsch is easy to spot - it's always connected
to dishonesty." (Michael Stanzer)
How can a chess problem be dishonest, starting
with your example? (Not counting Krystufek et al,
where it's the composer, not the composition ;-)

Hauke

I know the difference well, but you have chosen the title "problems for the masses" and you where asking about kitsch in chess composition.

Dejan asked to show the problem. Meanwhile it is published, see

http://www.softdecc.com/pdb/search.pdb?expression=probid=%27P1238256%27

Olaf

A year ago I composed this SPG in 4.0 moves to illustrate some ideas to the pupils in our chess club:

When I showed this problem to IMs too, all of them failed to find the solution... and were amazed seeing it. I still don't know if this little piece of popular art is original, but from a composer's point of view it's too obvious, so I doubt it.

Anyway, in order to be fully appreciated, a popular art of this kind has to be able to surprise and to be simple and elegant in the same time.

Well, the suspicion that the proofgame in post 26 is not new, is correct. The Finnish magazine Tehtäväniekka in nr 2/2011 dated June 10, 2011, reports from a solving event held for school kids in April the same year. The problem is found there as a proofgame in 3.5 moves (to get it up to 4.0 moves has to be started on black's side by 1. - e6). As composer is given Kauko Väisänen, but no further publication details.

..and Henry Tanner sent me this:

Martin W. HOFFMANN
Schweizerische Schachzeitung 1989

W : Ke1 Ta1h1 Lc1f1 Sb1g1 Pd3a2b2c2e2f2g2h2
B : Ke8 Dd8 Ta8h8 Lc8f8 Sb8g8 Pa7b7c7d7g7h7f6e5

Partie justificative en 4,0 coups (15+16) C+
b) -Dd8

a) 1.d3 e5 2.Dd2 La3 3.Db4 f6 4.Df8+ L×f8
b) 1.d3 e5 2.Lh6 Dg5 3.Dc1 D×c1+ 4.L×c1 f6

Loyd-Turton

Source :
13243, Schweizerische Schachzeitung (juin 89)

I see; I knew it! But, hey, no big deal. Thank you for the quick response, Mr. Olin. Just for the record, I gave to our pupils another similar problem (invented by myself), which, knowing the solution of the above mentioned problem, is easier to solve. Here it is:

Now white has to save a tempo - 1.e3! e5 2.Qf3 Qf6 3.Qxf6 Nxf6 4.e4 Ng8. The emphasis was layed upon the process of proving that both the solutions were unique... and, of course, on introducing the idea of tempo moves. So, speaking of tempo, "SPG 4.0" is more consistent than "SPG 3.5", published in that Finnish magazine.

In conclusion, another purpose of these popular problems is to give a chance to the audience (pupils, chess amateurs, and often - sadly - professionals) to take a first-hand look in a funny way at the basic terms, ideas and concepts of chess composition.

This (Hoffman's) is so nice doubling the idea !!

Hello everyone,

I make a lot of chess puzzles that might be considered “problems for the masses”. Some of them appear on The Puzzling Side of Chess, my column at www.chesscafe.com.

I’ve composed more than a hundred 4.0 proof games. Most of them have been published in my two puzzle books or in Scholar’s Mate magazine (Canada). The two proof games given above by Petromir Panayotov are both in Winning Chess Puzzles For Kids Volume 2 (2010). The first Martin Hoffman (1989) proof game given by Neal Turner is also in that book, and credited to him.

I guess these are all popular puzzles!

Thank you all for the positive feedback.

I just wanted to share with you a part of my approach in education of youngsters. Sometimes when I have to explain a term or concept, the easiest way is to show a suitable chess problem; and sometimes, at least for me, is easier to invent one right away instead of seeking the right one in vast chess bases. Usualy it has simple form with plain solution... and looks just like popular puzzle, most of the times its quality is even lower. But it has one important advantage - it is understandable for students and carries the right bit(s) of information - one of the most valuable qualities of popular art, I think.

In his laboratory the composer always has something boiling and bubbling - most of the times it's somethig already seen, a drafts full of all kinds of defects and imperfections, etc. - things that are not for publication. Part of this stuff is for internal use - I prefer to share it with our pupils for educational purposes, above mentioned proofgames included.

In the best case it is popular puzzles like this one #7 (never published before):

After 1.Rg6! hg6 2.Nf6 g5 the bishop has to find a way to g7. There are 3 routes: 1) "a5-d8-e7-f8-g7" / 2) "d2-f4-d6-f8-g7" / 3) "e1-g3-d6-f8-g7". The last one is the right one: 3.Be1! g4 4.Bg3 gf3 5.Bd6 f2 6.Bf8 f1Q 7.Bg7#.
It is obvious what the student should learn from this problem.

So, is it worth publishing work like this one? Of course not - here you can not find novelty, complexity, a big surprise. But it's great for studying a basics of chess composition - it is simple and fun.

"In his laboratory the composer always has something boiling and bubbling "

I wish that was true for me - most of the time there's no gas in my cooker :(

"In his laboratory the composer always has something boiling and bubbling."

This sounds like cooking. Definitely MY CASE...

Hmmm, funny. Well, if you want to cook something on your own original recipe, you need a lot of experimentation and, unfortunately, a lot of thrown pots of ordinary dish. It is common knowledge that the inspiration may come from many places - from well known masterpiece, from game you played, watched online, or just read - and far less often - from above, or out of nowhere, if you like. Let me show you a popular puzzle that came to me just like that, out of nowhere [It's not cooked :), and I hope it's not anticipated]:

P.Panayotov, Shahmatna misl / 2001
Win; b) bRh1->h2

a) diagram: 1.Kh8 Re1! 2.Nf4! [2.g8Q? Re8! 3.Nf4 (3.Q:e8=) 3...Rd8!! - zz 4.Q:e8= (or 4.N~ R:g8 5.K:g8 K:h5=)] 2...Re8+ 3.g8R! [3.g8Q? Rd8!=] 3...Re7 4.Rg6# [or 3...R:g8 4.K:g8+-]

b) bRh1->h2: 1.Nf4! Rd2! 2.Kh8 Rd7! [2...Rd8+? 3.g8Q! - zz] 3.Ne6! [3.g8Q? Rd8!= - zz; 3.g8R?? Rh7#.] 3...R:g7 4.N:g7+-